Wednesday, September 3, 2008


It was all last minute. One of our friends put across an idea for camping. My husband and I have never camped here in the US. I have done quite a few camps in India, as I was with the girl scouts.
We decided to give it a try. We were pretty adventurous, right from the start, knowing its the labour day weekend, we did not make any prior reservations (the plan was only finalized Friday night) and set out, hoping to get a camping spot. hummm, that's what I call positive thinking.
destination: two hours east of San Diego, a place called IDYLLWILD.

I had kept a few entries for all the events that had the 31st august deadline, but alas, that did not happen, as I was away pitching tents and doing some good rustic cooking.

We bought new tents and sleeping bags, at 11:30 Friday night. next morning four of us (my husband and me along with another couple), headed to Von's to get a few things to eat and headed for our destination.

on our way, we stopped at a local kiosk

On our way, we were welcomed by some dark grey clouds, and some rain. Back in Calcutta I use to love the rains. The muddy smell, the cool breeze after the showers, the green leaves covered with small rain was all so good. All that came back,though we did not get out and get wet, but we rolled down our windows and enjoyed the tipper tapper.

grey clouds

When we reached the visitor center, the ranger told us that there was only one spot left at a "fern basin camping site". We knew we would not get it, as the drive from the center to the camping spot was a couple of miles and the roads were pretty rugged.
As we had anticipated the one and only unreserved camp spot was now taken by someone who came before us. Driving around we found a spot that was reserved from the 29Th of august (which was a day before), to the 1st of Sept. no one was there, so we thought it would be a good idea to just be at the spot for sometime. so we unpacked and had lunch.

I had taken Dal ka paranthas for lunch with pickle and curd. after lunch we decided to pitch our tents, just as we had finished pitching one tent, the rightful owner, the one who had made prior reservations, showed up. We had to relocate. not far but just across, to yet another reserved, but vacant camp spot.

We finished pitching our tents, and decided not to just sit and wait. so we headed to the main street, with shops and all. we spent a few hours checking them out and headed back to our camp site. we were just hoping that the owners of the campsite where we had pitched did not show up. but that was not going to happen. as we reached, we saw that, the owners had checked in..........what to do????

we were in for some good adventure. with the sun setting down, our respective husbands were getting a little restless with the thought of not finding a spot. well coming back was always an option.

we folded our tents and just loaded everything in the car and headed to another camp site.

One spot was spotted that was empty, but was reserved. we thought of taking our chances yet again. but this time, we decided that if the guy showed up, we would wind up and go back to San Diego.

slowly the sun went down, it began to get dark, and people began to lit up their campfires.
we decided to lit ours too. waiting. hoping that the person should not show up. one of our friends gave him a deadline of 9'o clock. after 9 we would pitch our tents.
meanwhile we got cooking.

rice, on the campfire.

cooking, that was the fun part.though my friend had carried a stove, but we still cooked on the campfire. we roasted corn. made pulao and aloo curry.

fire roasted corn,delicious.

It was soooo good. with the rice cooking and the aloo subzi simmering over the campfire, we slowly started to get our things out and pitching the tent.

veg pulao with potato curry

it was around eleven in the night when we had our dinner. with still no signs of the actual occupant of the site, we were relived that we indeed got a spot.

our tents, all pitched and set.

ended our night with some hot tea.

next morning made breakfast of omelet and sandwiches. it was great. morning time, the air filled with morning mist, and the smoldering firewood of the last nights fire. it was nature at its best. after breakfast we packed our bags and thanked Mr whoever, who did not show up, and made our camping a success.

the whole experience was so much fun. Specially cooking and then enjoying all that food with friends cozying around the campfire. with plans of camping again (but with reserved spots) and with exotic menus to try out for the next camp, we headed back home.


Usha said...

Wow Karuna sounds like you had a good time,I have not been able to visit your blog for some time now,for some odd reason your feed was not showing up on my google reader,finally fixed that today by subscribing directly from your page...and it is showing up now...Anyway there seems to be a lot happening here...what with the Indian regional food posts and your camping trip too...Nice

Uma said...

Wow, you did camping? Looks like you had great fun. Cooking on campfire is a great experience, isn't it? I've been avoiding camping due to the fear of bears at night (someone told me) he he!

jo said...

How exciting to be able to go camping. Nothing beats a campfire and cooking outdoors. No matter what you cook, everything will seem to taste delicious.

Aparna said...

You certainly got all the adventure you were looking for this camping trip!

Sia said...

LOL... that sounds like real fun. good for u that u got a camping site w/o any reservations:) and that rustic dinner looks really delicious.

A_and_N said...

Looks like you had a whale of a time! I LOVED the picture of the corn. Looks just like street-corn in India :D